Trump admin seeks 60 days to respond to case on H1B visa issue

The Trump administration has sought 60 days from a US appeals court to “consider” its response in a case challenging Obama government’s decision to allow spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US, putting the jobs of thousands of Indians at stake. The H1-B community, which includes a large number of Indians, had welcomed the move by the Barack Obama administration in 2015 to allow H4 visa-holders – mainly spouses of the H-1B visa-holders – to be gainfully employed. But the group ‘Save Jobs USA’ soon took the matter to the Washington DC appeals court after a district court upheld the Obama administration’s decision. Now, the Trump administration has sought a 60-day suspension in the appeals court proceedings.

On February 1, the Department of Justice filed a petition in the court titled ‘Consent motion to hold proceedings in abeyance for 60 days’. The Trump administration sought the freeze to “allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues”.

The “abeyance” in court proceedings has led to concern among H4 visa holders, particularly as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a known critic of the H1B programme. Immigration Voice yesterday announced to intervene in the case for thousands of H4 visa-holders, saying this was the “only option” to protect the rights of its members and their families, including children who are US citizens.